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A cyclist adjusts the saddle height on his bike. Text on design reads Adjusting Your Saddle Height. Learn more at https://captextri.com/adjusting-your-saddle-height/

Adjusting Your Saddle Height Can Make All the Difference

Learn why adjusting your saddle height matters and how it can be done

Many people don’t realize that adjusting your saddle height by a few millimeters can make a huge difference in how they feel on their bike. If you feel like you are not making gains or if you have pain after riding, you may want to try adjusting your saddle height. Properly adjusting your saddle height could help you improve these 5 bike handling skills.

Saddle height explained

Saddle height is the distance between the heart of the pedal axle and the top of the saddle. It is set by adjusting the seat post to an ideal height that balances comfort and power on the bike. Remember, adjusting your saddle height is important like making sure your helmet always fits!

Reasons to change

Saddle height is arguably the single most important adjustment on your bicycle. Incorrect saddle height can contribute to saddle discomfort and anterior and posterior knee pain. The poor leverage can also limit your power production. 

Adjusting your saddle height

There are many methods and formulas to find your “proper” saddle height. One of the best approaches is to establish it based on the rider’s individual ride characteristics and flexibility. If you are looking for recommendations, visit Josh at Jack & Adam’s Fredericksburg or with the crew over at Mellow Johnny’s. A bike fit specialist can explain your individual characteristics. They can also highlight what equipment may be contributing to any performance or biomechanical limitations. If you can’t make it to a bike fit there is still a solution. 

At home fix

Before your next ride, experiment at home with the “heel to pedal method.” This will get you in the ballpark range before you can see a professional. First, mark the current height. Then, put your bike on the trainer. Pedal around to make sure you are in the position you normally ride in. Place your heel on the pedal and pedal backward to reach the six o’clock position. Your knee should be completely straight. If your heel has trouble making contact with the pedal, the seat is too high. If your knee is bent it is too low. Make very small adjustments, in millimeters, until your leg is straight with the heel on the pedal.

Adapting to your new saddle height

When you’re done adjusting your saddle height, wrap a strip of electrical tape around the base of the post where it meets the seat clamp. Take measurements and keep them for future reference. Make the first few rides with your new saddle height short and sweet. It can take a few rides before your body fully adapts. It is good to get your bike fit looked at at least every few years or if you get new equipment such as new shoes or pedals. Pro tip: when you’re ready for longer rides, check out these 3 cyclist-friendly routes in Austin.

Solo cyclist rides on the Veloway in Austin, Texas. Text on design reads Cyclist-Friendly Routes in Austin. Learn more at https://captextri.com/cyclist-friendly-routes-in-austin/

3 Cyclist-Friendly Routes in Austin to Ride

Get more comfortable on your bike when you ride these cyclist-friendly routes in Austin

Avoid traffic and become more comfortable on your bike on these cyclist-friendly routes. These 3 Austin spots are located throughout town, making them accessible to many cyclists. They’re ideal for enjoying a scenic route and mastering your bike handling skills. New to cycling or just purchased your first bike? Nice! The more routes you ride, the more familiar you will become with your new bike. If switching gears is new to you, using them can be tricky on your first few rides. Your bike presents a new feel. Leaning into the curves, becoming comfortable with the handling, and eating and drinking on the bike are all things you should practice. Pro tip: always check that your helmet fits before every ride.

Veloway

This 3-mile looped, one-way roadway is an ideal cyclist-friendly route. The Veloway is located in southwest Austin off LaCrosse Avenue and is closed to traffic. Parking is ample. Most noteworthy, this route is strictly for cyclists and rollerbladers, no runners or walkers (watch out for the wildlife!). The roadway is bisected with a continuous white line (slower cyclists keep to the right). Everyone moves in the same clockwise manner. You can relax a little knowing you don’t have to keep an eye out for non-wheeled individuals or riders coming in your direction. There are gorgeous views, a few tight turns, and some nice straightaways. Make sure you get into the right gear for a nice climb around Mile 2! Porta-potties are available.

Southern Walnut Creek Trail

The Southern Walnut Creek Trail begins at Govalle Neighborhood Park off Bolm Road in east Austin. It features nearly 7.5 miles of 10-foot wide concrete paths and splendid views. Like the Veloway, there is plenty of parking. Be advised, runners and walkers are allowed on the trail and traffic flows both ways. Ensure the other lane is clear and yell out “on your left” if you plan to pass others. There are a few road crossings along the trail to be aware of as well. Add 11 miles and some nice climbs to your bike ride when you preview the Rookie Tri and Jack’s Generic Tri bike courses! The trail rides alongside Daffan Lane and eventually hits Decker Lane.

Brushy Creek Regional Trail

Representing north Austin, the Brushy Creek Regional Trail reaches Round Rock to the east and Cedar Park to the west. Check out Stone Canyon Pool if you park to the east. Park to the west at Twin Lakes Family YMCA. Be aware of runners and walkers on this 6.75-mile multi-use trail that connects neighborhoods and existing parks. Traffic flows in both directions and there are multiple restrooms along the trail. Make sure the other lane is clear and yell out “on your left” if you plan to pass others. BCRT images from cedarparktexas.gov.

Two males run on South 1st Street bridge with the Austin skyline in the background during the CapTex Triathlon. Text in design reads 6 Items Every Beginner Triathlete Must Have. Learn more at https://captextri.com/6-items-beginner-triathlete/

6 Items Every Beginner Triathlete Must Have

Every beginner triathlete needs these 6 items before they can train

You’ve decided to start training for your first triathlon, congrats! Now what? Before you get started you’ll need some specific gear for all phases of training. This 6-item checklist is a great start for every beginner triathlete! It’s got you covered from the swim to the bike to the run. You might even have some of these items already. If that’s the case, we’ve added a few more recommendations at the end. Below are the 6 items every beginner triathlete must-have. Pro tip: pair the items with these 8 habits to successfully train and crush it on race day! 

Bike

Infographic listing the 6 items every beginner triathlete must have. List includes bike, helmet, tri shorts, goggles, running shoes, and sports bra. Read more at https://captextri.com/6-items-beginner-triathlete/Any bike. It can be anything from your uncle’s old bike that has been in the garage or the mountain bike you take out riding with your kids. Be sure that the bike is in good repair by taking it to a local shop. If the bike is really old or in disrepair, you may spend just as much on fixing it as you will buying a beginner bike. Pro tip: a road bike with gears will make your training a lot more comfortable. You will be able to go further with less effort and have more “in the tank” when you head out for the run. Remember to practice these 5 bike handling skills.

Helmet

Helmets should be replaced every 5-8 years and definitely after any crash — no matter how small. Helmets provide the same safety level at any price tag so you don’t need anything expensive. The higher-end helmets are equipped with more ventilation and aerodynamics. Some helmets are specifically sized so make sure and check when you purchase. A loose-fitting helmet is not safe. Pro tip: follow these easy steps to ensure your helmet properly fits.

Bike or tri shorts

Really you can wear what you want, just remember that transition is open and there is nowhere to change in private. If you want to be comfortable while training and racing get a nice pair of athletic shorts. These can really be anything but cotton as cotton will not wick away sweat and can lead to chaffing. Ouch! A basic tri short with a little bit of padding will make your bike-riding experience much more enjoyable. The best part is that these shorts will last long after your triathlon debut. They are perfect for cross-training, cycle classes, and even going for runs.

Goggles

There is no perfect goggle since everyone’s face is shaped a little differently. Visit a local swim shop and try on a few models to find what works for you. Leaky goggles will derail your swim and can make swimming a lot more difficult. Especially if you are having to stop and constantly adjust for goggles. Don’t skimp and just buy the cheapest ones at the store. Once you have tested them out a few times, we suggest buying a second pair in a different tint so that you have something for all conditions. Here’s some more advice to follow when searching for your goggles.

Running shoes

If they are comfortable, they are good to go. Even if they are just the shoes you got because you liked the way they looked. Have some shoes that aren’t comfortable? Well, you can still run in those — you will just be, well uncomfortable at the end of your run.

Sports bra

Ladies, even if you decide to use your swimsuit for your first triathlon you are going to want to wear a good sports bra underneath. You will want something you are comfortable running in. If you have some areas that rub, like under the armpits, you can put some Vaseline or Body Glide on in the morning to help with chaffing.

Beginner triathlete extras

Recommended

  • Flat kit – you’ll want this if you get a flat
  • Hat/visor – protect yourself from the sun
  • Water bottle for the bike – stay hydrated
  • Bright towel – find your spot easier in transition
  • Sunscreen – don’t get burnt 
  • Race belt – carry your nutrition and your bib

Optional

  • Socks – keep your feet comfortable
  • Bike shoes with clip-in pedals – make sure you practice first
  • Sports watch – track your time
  • Sunglasses – protect from debris on your ride
  • Transition bag – carry all your stuff
  • Wetsuit – can be expensive, but could help in the water